January 23, 2017
Nuscience: Improve reproductive traits in layers using MCFA
At the International Poultry Scientific Forum, organised in conjunction with the International Production & processing expo (EXPO), Nuscience will present a study showing the positive effect of free medium chain fatty acids on the reproductive traits in laying hens.
In the layer breeder industry, it is crucial to maintain an excellent egg quality to maximise hatchability and day old chick quality in order to optimise the reproduction cost, Nuscience says. As genetic differences exist in productive, reproductive and egg quality traits, the effect of a feed supplement - containing medium chain fatty acids (MCFA's) (Shellbiotic) - on zootechnical parameters was evaluated.
This experiment was carried out with two different types of breeds (Leghorn type and Rhode Island Red type) at a grandparent operation of Novogen. In this trial, four groups of 1,600 breeder layers, placed on floor pens (100%), were used. From 38 weeks onwards, one group of each breed received a dietary supplementation of 1kg/tonne Shellbiotic. During this trial hen day production, mortality, egg weight, feed intake and second grade eggs were measured until 58 weeks of age. Hatchability, day old chick quality and specific egg quality parameters were measured at 31 and 54 weeks of age. Each treatment consisted of eight pens with 50 birds per pen. For statistical analyses, SAS software is used.
Adding 1kg of Shellbiotic resulted in a significant improvement for both breeds of the percentage of laying rate (90.9% vs. 91.1%) (P<0.01), second grade eggs (1.5% vs. 1.4%) (P<0.05) and hair cracks (6.7% vs. 1.7%) (P<0.05). Additionally, positive effects were observed for hatch of fertiles in both breeds and day old chick quality for the Leghorn type breed.
Overall, supplementing commercial layer breeder feed with MCFA's resulted in 1.2% more day old chicks. This trial indicates that improving egg quality in commercial layer breeders by supplementing the feed with a specific mixture of MCFA's improves the reproductive traits.